GEORGE TOWN: Gerakan has questioned Penang’s decision to increase the allowances of city councillors from a maximum of RM2,500 to RM6,000 a month, saying it is not on par with the services offered by the councillors.
“This is deeply disappointing and irresponsible,” said state Gerakan chief Oh Tong Keong, who said that local city councillors had been slow to address basic problems such as potholes on roads, clogged drains and flash floods.
Calling the move “unfair to Penang taxpayers”, Oh said the country’s economy was not doing well and the public is facing high inflationary pressures.
“The Penang Pakatan Harapan government should stand with the people in facing these challenges together, rather than drastically increasing allowances for city councillors.”
Moving forward, he said the federal government should restore local elections in Penang to hold councillors accountable.
Recently, Penang local government committee chairman H’ng Mooi Lye said that allowances for city councillors had not been raised since 2016 and were due for a review.
Stating that the increase would help councillors cope with increasing living expenses, he said the new maximum allowance includes fixed and per-meeting allowances.